The Big Religion Chart

11 Jul, '06

religions chartThe ReligionFacts Big Religion Chart is an attempt to summarize all the complexities of religions and belief systems into tiny little boxes on a single, quick-reference comparison chart. As we always warn with our comparison charts, this is no substitute for reading about religions in greater detail. But this religion comparison chart can be a useful and easy way to “get the gist” of unfamiliar religions and compare basic beliefs and practices of the world’s religions.

Interesting chart, thanks go to Nibaq’s bookmarks

Steve, want to write a dissertation about how every other religion is good and Islam is bad and that we’re all terrorists using this chart? Be my guest!

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  1. عرين محمود | 14 Jul, '06
  2. Bahraini.TV — The pulse of Bahrain | 12 Jul, '06
  1. Jared in NYC says:

    Fascinating Mahmood, thanks for posting this!

  2. Hmmmm. It’s a little too sketchy to make a real comparison of religions but I’m kind of interested in this Eckankar religion. Any religion that was founded in Las Vegas sounds promising. I’ve always kinda thought of Vegas as the Promised Land. I’m visualizing a church service where the minister spins a big roulette wheel, attended by showgirls in big feathered headdresses. Every so once in a while, when the preacher makes a strong point in his sermon, the congregation leaps out of their pews and shouts, “HIT ME!”

    Steve

  3. Aliandra says:

    Steve – , the Church of the Divine Prophet, which is divinely profitable?

    Cao Dai – Victor Hugo, a saint? That’s really odd for a religion founded in Vietnam.

    Scientology isn’t sure whether it has 70,000 or several million followers. What’s the population of Hollywood anyway?

    Interesting how so much doctrine of the monotheistic religions came from Zoroastrianism.

  4. mahmood says:

    Yes, do you believe that this crackpot actually represents ME? A Muslim?

  5. Lujayn says:

    Mahmood, why bother? Do you really care what he thinks anymore?

  6. That chart is so COOL!
    Missing many others, hope it’s updated in the future.

    BTW, I was an atheist but I’m leaning towards Asatru now. Sounds like lots of fun.

    “Polytheistic, Norse gods and goddesses, Norse creation myths.”, I love Norse mythology! 🙂

    Grrr, where’s my broad sword & throwing axe!!!

  7. Mahmood: “Yes, do you believe that this crackpot actually represents ME? A Muslim?”

    No, Mahmood, I can’t imagine you ever saying such hateful stuff. But how Muslim are you? The SIMI operative who intends to keep murdering is following Mohammed’s example and the demands of the Koran. His terror is a pure expression of Islam.

    The Koran commands Muslims in 5:51 to take no Christian nor Jewish friends and here you are making friends all over the place. You’re even friendly to me and look at what an obnoxious infidel I am. Mahmood, you’re not following the word of Allah in this like a good observant Muslim. However, you wouldn’t be so darned lovable if you did. Quite sensibly, you’ve ignored this Koranic call to bigotry and you’re a better man for it.

    Now, Umar the SIMI agent, by contrast, is quite observant of 5:51. Umar is not out making friends and influencing infidels in the Dar al Harb. He’s out to kill infidels in big bleeding batches, just like the Verse of the Sword (9:5) tells him: “…slay the idolaters, wherever you find them, and make them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.”

    You, Mahmood, on the other hand, have been frightfully lax in implementing the Verse of the Sword. I doubt that you have slain a single idolater, taken anyone captive, nor besieged anyone, except maybe Batelco. I don’t think you could harm a fly. How do you expect to get to paradise with your pacifist attitude? However, even though you come up short on idolater-slaying, you’re taller in my eyes for forgoing it for more productive hobbies.

    Umar seems to be doing a pretty good job of following Koran 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah….” You, on the other hand, are not. Here you take vacations in infidel lands and you spend all your time having fun instead of fighting. What’s your explanation for this? Umar and his men are slaving day and night to build bombs to blow up unbelievers and you are walking the streets of Europe like you don’t have a care in the world.

    Koran 98:6: “Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and the idolaters will be in the Fire of hell, abiding therein. They are the worst of creatures.” I have every confidence that Umar believes this. I don’t have any confidence at all that you believe this.

    So, Mahmood, ya got me. I concede your point. Umar is nothing like you. But the only reason that you are a good guy is that you have implicitly rejected the hateful portions of the Koran and the example of Mohammed to fight every man until all the world is for Allah.

    I wish there were more Muslims like you, but I believe you represent a minority of the Muslim world, a world largely sunk in bigotry, ignorance, and violence. It is a world that hates the non-Muslim world.

    Last Friday there was a column in the Opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal called “Muslim Matryushka” that gave some alarming figures on Muslims in Britain, who number 1.8 million. Eight thousand of them are active Al Qaeda sympathizers, that they know of. That’s only 0.4% of the Muslim population or 1 out of every 225 Muslims.

    One percent of British Muslims publicly admit that they are ready to join terrorist operations in the name of Islam. That’s 16,000 Muslims or one out of every 112.

    Six percent or 100,000 or 1/18 of British Muslims claim that the London Tube bombings of July 7 were justified. One out of eighteen. Meditate on that figure for a moment. One out of eighteen British Muslims approved of the murder of 52 of their fellow citizens and the wounding of 700 others.

    24% of British Muslims say they would help terrorists. That’s 432,000 or 1 of every 4 Muslims. That’s quite a lot, wouldn’t you say? A majority of British Muslims said Westerners were “selfish, arrogant, greedy and immoral.”

    That paints a picture of a Muslim majority that is nothing like you, Mahmood. It’s a population which hates, which seeks to destroy its hosts, which revels in bloodshed. And their attitude is supported by the hateful passages of the Koran. Their attitude, like Umar’s, is a pure expression of Islam, a supremacist, intolerant, and violent religion.

    Steve

  8. jc says:

    I think Steve just called you a bad muslim for not fitting his stereotype. I think Steve needs to learn how percentages work, also. Alas.

    No box on there for me; Im kinda fuzzy past the whole “God exists” thing.

    “the Church of the Divine Prophet, which is divinely profitable?”– I thought that was Scientology (you also have to factor in the population of Clearwater, FL and the space aliens to make the membership numbers tally correctly)

  9. mahmood says:

    JC, Steve thinks that his intellectual masturbation gives him the full right to categorise anyone and anything at variance with his own dogmatic (did someone say jihadi?) views as bad… so I won’t take what he says very seriously, at least he didn’t classify me as a terrorist yet!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mahmood, look at it this way, I find those random appearances by Steve and his bullshit quite entertaining lately.

    Like a little monkey he amuses me.

  11. Anonymous says:

    steve i was wondering that if u were to see a muslim would you immediately categorise this person as a terrorist or would you categorise the person as a civilised person who is part of society…?

    bearing in mind that you have no idea whether this person is involved with terrorists and are only aware of the fact that the person is muslim.

  12. Eric Jacobson says:

    “Yes, do you believe that this crackpot actually represents ME? A Muslim?”

    Mahmood: no, this nutcase doesn’t ‘represent’ you any more than someone who goes bananas from the Seventh Day Adventists represents me, a Christian.

    The problem is that there IS an organized, Wahhabist movement whose members are busily spreading terror around the world; and their actions and beliefs are being conflated, however unfairly, with those of ordinary Muslims who just want to raise their kids and live a peaceful life.

    And that’s the problem. Whether correctly or otherwise, the world at large increasingly views ‘Islam’ with fear and concern. The only real solution lies with Muslims themselves: to work hard in their own communities to stamp out sources and funding for such movements, and to work hard with non-Muslims to restore trust. Islamists want a seventh-century theocracy in which nobody would win; we must work together to defeat their hatred.

  13. Eric, well said.

    Just look at the situation up here, over in Toronto. Shortly after the arrests of several accused bombers we have some local Islamic groups “inviting” over a hate spewing nut job Imam from Britain as a guest speaker! Then we find out that “jihad” propaganda videos are knowingly being distributed at some of the Mosques.

    All the while these same groups, just weeks before attempted to blame Canadian society for the radicalization of the accused?!?

    This group also happened to be the same who filed the “Hate Speech” charges against a Canadian magazine for reprinting the Danish cartoons many months ago.

    They are giving a very mixed message.

    Personally, “one on one” I’ve never assumed any Muslim I’ve met as being a “terrorist”, on the other hand I’m very suspicious of every organization.

  14. Ethan says:

    The only real solution lies with Muslims themselves: to work hard in their own communities to stamp out sources and funding for such movements, and to work hard with non-Muslims to restore trust. Islamists want a seventh-century theocracy in which nobody would win; we must work together to defeat their hatred.

    But one question that should be asked is ‘how’?

    Islam means ‘sumbission’. The idea of submission is a strong undercurrent in Islamic tradition, as well as in Arab culture. You submit to the tribal leaders. You submit to the patriarch of the family. If you’re female, you submit to your husband.

    Most Muslims, I would imagine, are not fanatically-seriously devoted to Islam. They do the prayers, they fast. Not much different than 1950’s American Christianity. The faith is part of one’s life. These are the ‘moderate’ Muslims. Unfortunately, Islam itself is not set up for moderates. Let’s go back to ‘submission’ – the moderates, not being terribly theologically versed turn their eyes toward the Imam or Mullah for their religious doctrine. The Imams and Mullahs, therefore, have an inordinate amount of power. This is exacerbated by the fact that Mohammed never created a single source of religious legislation, such as the Papacy.

    Because of this, a literalist sect, such as the Wahabbis can use that inordinate amount of power granted to them to control a huge amount of people in the direction that they want. Mohammed said “Fight until all religion is for Allah”. Those violent sects take that to mean that all non-believers must be fought until they submit to Allah or Islamic rule. With that sort of idea in mind, it’s a quick step to a terrorist training camp.

    And what of the moderates? According to the literalists: “Fighting is ordained for you, even if you don’t like it.” Those Muslims that do not take up arms are not -true- Muslims. And under a strict (and ignoring the blatant contradictions) reading of the Koran, they are no longer Muslim. Those who were once Muslim, but no longer are are Apostates. According to the traditions of Mohammed, the blood of Apostates is legal.

    Connect the dots:
    a) Islam has no central authority, leaving interpretation to just about anyone.
    b) Literalists use the violence in the Koran to show that violence is required of Muslims.
    c) Moderates (or those who escew violence) are intimidated by the violent literalist sects.
    d) Thus, the ‘moderates’ keep their heads down and shut up, lest they lose them.

    Individual intellectual bravery is not part of the Muslim world today. This is not to say that there haven’t been brave people – Salman Rushdie, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Ali Sina among others, all in the West – to speak out in Islamic lands, especially given the rulings allowing extrajudicial murder of people who question, is suicide. It’s just not done. There’s ‘honor’ and ‘shame’ involved.

    So where do we go from here?

    The only step is a wholesale reformation of Islam. Somehow, literalism must be stricken from the discussion. How can that happen when literalists are willing to kill anyone who questions them? It’s a catch 22 – reformers get killed, and thus there’s no reform, so the killers gain strength to kill more reformers until there is noone left strong enough to speak up. In the 1800’s, the Ba’hai church was Islam’s last best hope for peaceful large-scale reformation in my opinion.

    Since the ‘doors to itjihad closed’ in the 11th century, Islam has ossified because of this tendency. Christianity had its reformation because it was not easy to justify murder and fearmongering by the words of Jesus. It -IS- easy to justify murder and fearmongering with the words and actions of Mohammed. Steve just did it! Whether you believe in your heart of hearts that he is full of crap or not does not mean he is wrong. Islamic terror has been inspired by those verses -for centuries-. Ghengis Khan chose Islam to rule his empire because he believed that it was the perfect religion for warriors, you know.

    And for centuries, those verses have been used to quash anyone who would stand up to challenge them. Without intellectual or religious development the whole house of cards has solidified into a wad of conspiracy theory, hate and violence.

    Millions of people will die before this is over and there can be only three solutions that I can see:
    1) Islamism (and likely Islam itself) is destroyed in toto a la Naziism
    2) Enlightenment rationalism and liberal democracy is forced to submit to Allah
    3) God sends another messenger with a bunch of errata for the Koran

    The fourth solution, peaceful coexistance, is impossible as long as there are people who believe that the only way forward is to purify the world of unbelief with violence.

  15. jc says:

    Mahmood, sometimes its fun to point out what they actually say. More seriously, the prejudices and assumptions that inform steves perception of islam and muslims kinda seem to have become the subtext of analysis in the right wing of American politics when it comes to international affairs. Prolly why our foreign policy is so fucked up.

  16. Omar says:

    “Verse of the Sword”?

    The word sword is nowhere to be found in the Koran. Steve must be confused with the Bible.

  17. Omar

    “Those who live by the sword die by the sword” is the quote your thinking of from the Bible.

    Good advice if people will take it.

  18. Ethan says:

    Omar, regarding the ‘verse of the sword’, See discussion here: http://63.175.194.25/index.php?ln=eng&ds=qa&lv=browse&QR=34770&dgn=4

    “Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

    [al-Tawbah 9:5]

    This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).

    These and similar verses abrogate the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.

    And Allaah is the Source of strength.

    Simply reading through this site leds credence to Steve’s view of Islam, by the by. It’s pretty scary stuff. From the same page:

    The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

    To anyone rational, this response by the Imam Ibn Baaz is antithetical to reason and humanity. People that believe that shoving their hellish religion down the throats of others are enemies of all mankind.

  19. mahmood says:

    Ibn Baaz is the chief Wahabi rabi, and most of the Muslim world do not follow his “interpretation”. Wasn’t he the guy who declared that anyone who believes in the Earth being round is a kaffir? Would you even call a person like that an “imam”?

    I’m sure you can find better sources than this Ethan!

  20. Ethan says:

    Mahmood,

    I can find many sources for the term ‘Verse of the Sword’. This one Whabbist happened to be the top of the Google list.

    I’m not so positive that ‘most of the Muslim world’ don’t agree with him – however, I will say that ‘most of the Middle East’ is likely more true. Wahabbism has been a prime mover in Western nations for a while. The stark cult-like control of Wahabbism is actually very alluring to Westerners who are sick of thinking for themselves. Unfortunately, because of this the West has this very Wahabbi outlook on Islam – and thus Steve’s impressions. I, myself have to admit to the allure of Ibn Baez. What he says is logical and literalist and easy to comprehend. There’s no grey thought space. Just do what is written!

    Who I would call an Imam? Does not Imam mean ‘prayer leader’? Mahmood, I would call you an Imam were you to stand up in front of your Mosque and preach the love in your heart just as I would call the Satan who stands in front of his Mosque to condemn the unbeliever. However, I would far prefer the former.

  21. mahmood says:

    I wasn’t calling the “verse of the sword” in question. It’s a fact that broaches no question in Islam. I would have thought; however, that you would have selected a better source to support your argument, that is all.

    As to the word “imam” of course you are correct in a litteral sense. What “we” call an imam; however, is much more than a prayer leader, it is actually much more even than a community leader. It is the person who is well versed in religion who is followed by millions.

    Semantics I guess, but it also shows the digression of interpretation between us who live here, to the ones who only read about us living here.

  22. Omar: ““Verse of the Sword”? The word sword is nowhere to be found in the Koran. Steve must be confused with the Bible.”

    Nice taqqiya, Omar.

    Is it possible that a Muslim can possibly not know one of the most widely quoted passages from the Koran? No, it isn’t. It’s violent message has been affirmed by generations of Muslim theologians and cited by legions of Muslim jihadis.

    Osama Bin Laden certainly knows the Verse of the Sword and cited in in a sermon on Al Jazeera (naturally) three years ago: “Praise be to Allah who revealed the verse of the Sword to his servant and messenger [the Prophet Muhammad], in order to establish truth and abolish falsehood.”

    http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=subjects&Area=jihad&ID=SP47603

    Omar, you would not need to resort to such dishonest evasion if the Koran did not command you to do such indefensible evil.

    Steve

  23. Chris in Manitoba: “Just look at the situation up here, over in Toronto. Shortly after the arrests of several accused bombers we have some local Islamic groups “inviting” over a hate spewing nut job Imam from Britain as a guest speaker! Then we find out that “jihad” propaganda videos are knowingly being distributed at some of the Mosques. All the while these same groups, just weeks before attempted to blame Canadian society for the radicalization of the accused?!? This group also happened to be the same who filed the “Hate Speech” charges against a Canadian magazine for reprinting the Danish cartoons many months ago.

    They are giving a very mixed message.

    No, they are not, Chris. Their message is very consistent: Everything that supports Islam is good. Everything that detracts from Islam is bad.

    It is a primitive one-dimensional tribal morality of expedience. That which benefits the tribe is good. It confuses you because your Western morality is based on universal principles applicable to everyone. You probably think it’s wrong to lie to anyone. Muslims think it’s only wrong to lie to other Muslims. Lying to non-Muslims is OK, especially in defense of Islam. Under Sharia, killing another Muslim is wrong but killing a non-believer is not that big of a deal. And so it goes.

    If the situation in Canada is anything like that in America, my guess is that those ugly incidents of Muslim hate and duplicity that you are witnessing are only the tip of the iceberg. Have a look at the texts in mosques in Canadian cities and there is probably lots of hate literature in there, just like in the US. You might have the Arabic tourist brochures handed out by the Saudi embassy translated. You probably won’t like what’s in them.

    However, to be fair, there are some Muslims who are willing to stand up and stop the violence to which their congregation turns a blind eye. For example, Mubin Shaikh of Toronto who overheard the terrorists plotting, infiltrated them, and handed them over to the police. Says Shaikh: “I wanted to prevent the loss of life. … There are no combatants on the downtown streets of Toronto … I don’t want Canadians to think that these (people) are what Muslims are. … I would have to say that these are fruitcakes … but with the capacity to do some real damage.”

    At long last, a ray of light, a Muslim worthy of admiration, one with the guts to stand up to the terrorists and defeat them. I want to see a million more Mubin Shaikhs.

    Steve

  24. Anonymous: “steve i was wondering that if u were to see a muslim would you immediately categorise this person as a terrorist or would you categorise the person as a civilised person who is part of society…? bearing in mind that you have no idea whether this person is involved with terrorists and are only aware of the fact that the person is muslim.

    I would think the chances of me running into a terrorist to be very small, one in a million. I work with Muslims. I don’t think any of them are terrorists, though I have not asked them, of course. The odds of any single Muslim in America being a terrorist is probably on the order of one in ten thousand or less.

    Generally, I take people one at a time and respond to what they actually say and do. People are too unpredictable to guess what they will do accurately. I’ve had friends betray me for no reason at all and enemies inexplicably do me favors. When I go to my high school reunions, I am surprised to find that some people who I thought were good folks turned out to be jerks, stoners turned out to be upstanding citizens, cute popular girls turned out to be ugly wretches with no self esteem, wallflower girls blossomed into beauties. So I’ve given up trying to predict people.

    However, if you changed your example case, set up a panel of people of different religions and told me to pick which one is the terrorist it would be a no-brainer. Muslims produce more terrorists than any other religion.

    Steve

  25. Mahmood: “JC, Steve thinks that his intellectual masturbation gives him the full right to categorise anyone and anything at variance with his own dogmatic (did someone say jihadi?) views as bad… so I won’t take what he says very seriously, at least he didn’t classify me as a terrorist yet!”

    You’re being very cranky, Mahmood, but not enough to get you even a glance from the houris in paradise. I fear that consorting with infidels like me will deny you your rightful place in the hereafter. You must admit it can’t possibly be good for you. Let’s face it, Mahmood, you’ll never cut it as a terrorist. You don’t have that kind of hate in you. Sure, you might get mad for a minute or two but then you get over it and are back to your jolly self.

    You are quite right that the view of Islam I present is jihadi. I’ve become quite a student of the Muslims trying to kill me and destroy America, along with every non-Muslim thing. What I have found is that the terrorists have the Koran and Mohammed on their side. There is nothing they do that deviates from the Koran’s instruction and Mohammed’s example and much that is copied directly from both. It’s pretty obvious that you can only be a good person by constructing an alternate Islam by cutting and pasting the good parts of the original Islam. The sooner that new, peaceful, tolerant Islam is constructed and the old, violent, intolerant Islam abandoned, the better.

    Steve

  26. Ethan says:

    Semantics I guess, but it also shows the digression of interpretation between us who live here, to the ones who only read about us living here.

    Words, of course, have various shades of meaning. I’m not surprised that the literal meaning of Imam is not the whole picture just as ‘Priest’, ‘Reverend’ and ‘Minister’ (all with the same general meaning) have colors of meaning here in the US.

    However, sematical arguments are important. When someone says ‘social justice’, for example, what sort of ‘Justice’ do they mean?

  27. Omar says:

    it is always interesting to see how non-Muslims are trying to teach Muslims Islam. In fact, objectively speaking, Steve is a partner of Bin Laden telling us that Bin Laden’s version of Islam is the only right Islam. The other 1 billion or so Muslims are wrong because they are ignorant about their own religion.

    Steve so far didn’t show any part of the Koran that contains the word Sword. If it was there, he would have found it by now. But we know Steve, don’t we?

    To a certain extent Steve is more Muslim than I am. He eats, drinks, breaths and sleeps Islam. Islam is always in his mind. Why would that be unless he is fascinated or attracted by it as a moth by a candle? Subhan’Allah.

    May God bless Steve.

    As for the bible, the passage I was hinting to is a report where Jezus said:
    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have
    not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

    How is that for quoting out of context?

  28. Omar: “it is always interesting to see how non-Muslims are trying to teach Muslims Islam. In fact, objectively speaking, Steve is a partner of Bin Laden telling us that Bin Laden’s version of Islam is the only right Islam. The other 1 billion or so Muslims are wrong because they are ignorant about their own religion.”

    Omar, your argument is another tired example of Muslims shifting the blame for their extremism to others, rather than manfully taking ownership of it and fixing it. In this case, you are trying to distort my exposure of extremist Muslim ideology to be support. The billion Muslims are hardly ignorant of this belligerent take on Islam. They were the ones dancing in the streets and celebrating Osama’s victory on Sep 11 all around the Muslim world.

    Omar: “Steve so far didn’t show any part of the Koran that contains the word Sword. If it was there, he would have found it by now. But we know Steve, don’t we?”

    I have not claimed that “sword” appears anywhere in the Koran, though I’m surprised that it doesn’t considering all the beheading commanded by Mohammed. That is a straw argument that you have constructed to avoid dealing with this Koranic passage demanding Muslims do violence to non-Muslims.

    What I do claim is that Muslims call this particular passage the Verse of the Sword, just as Osama Bin Laden did on Al Jazeera in 2003: “Praise be to Allah who revealed the verse of the Sword to his servant and messenger [the Prophet Muhammad], in order to establish truth and abolish falsehood.”
    http://memri.org/bin/opener.cgi?Page=archives&ID=SP47603

    Omar: “To a certain extent Steve is more Muslim than I am. He eats, drinks, breaths and sleeps Islam. Islam is always in his mind. Why would that be unless he is fascinated or attracted by it as a moth by a candle? Subhan’Allah.”

    I am interested in Islam for the same reason I read the police blotter and stories of criminals in DC. I want to understand the threat which confronts me in my daily life.

    The reason that Islam is on my mind so much is that Muslims have declared war on America, have killed Americans by the thousands, and vow to kill more, along with insane dreams of conquering the world. Every day, I look out my office window and see the Pentagon, a place where Muslims killed hundreds for their religion. When I get on the Metro, there is often an announcement to report abandoned bags, a reminder that Muslims want to kill me. The newspaper continually reveals plots by Muslims to kill non-Muslims.

    If Muslims stopped butchering people, Islam would soon become boring as toast to me. The ultimate solution is for Muslims to give up their hatred for non-Muslims, abandon their bloody jihad, and become as peaceful as toast.

    Omar: “As for the bible, the passage I was hinting to is a report where Jezus said: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34 How is that for quoting out of context?”

    That’s pretty good, but I think you’ll have a hard time finding Bible verses where Jesus is wacking people’s heads off by the hundreds like Mohammed. You can find better and bloodier passages in the Bible that you don’t need to quote out of context. Perhaps something you have noticed is that Christians blow those crazy, violent passages off, unlike Muslims who act on their violent Koranic verses. Look carefully in the media and you will find no Christians nor Jews nor Buddhists nor others cutting heads off for their religion and broadcasting the snuff video on TV for the glory of their particular god. The civilized religions are not butchering people around the world like Islam. My recommendation is that you blow off the violent passages of the Koran and elevate your faith to one that works and plays well with others.

    Steve

  29. sunrunner says:

    Steve,

    Did you really mean to write that a BILLION muslims were dancing in the streets after 9-11? And if you did, can you please cite your sources, because for the life of me, I can’t recall a report of that nature.

    Thanks.

  30. Jared in NYC says:

    Aliandra,

    After looking around a bit, I found a lot of evidence to support the suggestion you referenced in the chart that Zoroastrianism influenced Judaic and Vedic relious thought. Not so much in the specific details of the Rig Veda or Mosaic law, but in the whole idea of moral dualism, in the choice between good and evil.

    One interesting parallel is the fable of Rabbi Hillel his advice to a student that is (I think) the first example of the Golden Rule:

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.”

    Zoroastrians quote Zarathushtra as saying that their entire philosophy can be condensed into

    “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds”

    and

    “Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also”

    Jared

  31. Ethan says:

    Omar,

    Jesus, in that particular verse, was in no way calling for the slaughter of the nonbelievers. Elsewhere on Mahmood’s site I argued with someone concerning this verse – and I’d rather not look it back up at the moment. I merely point here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/But_to_bring_a_sword

    There are a lot of links on that page. Interestingly enough, unlike the Verse of the Sword link I posted earlier, a google search didn’t bring up an extremist perspective. I wonder if Muslim-qa.com is a popular destination for thoughts regarding the Koran. If so, I’m not impressed.

    Wikipedia doesn’t have any page whatsoever on the ‘Verse of the Sword’, for what it’s worth.

  32. Will says:

    Beautiful quotes Jared

    Ethan

    I think we discussed that quote. My point was (and I think Omar’s) that most religious texts can be twisted to serve almost any purpose.

  33. Omar says:

    Ethan didn’t got my point. I used this as an example of showing how dangerous quoting out of context is. Thank you Will for pointing this out.

    Now, as for my Christian brothers and sisters let me clarify:
    I do believe in Jesus. If he would to appear to me and ask me to follow him, I will follow him. Whatever he might say, even if it is against Islamic theology, I would trust him because his understanding of Islam is better than mine.

    Now, concerning Steve, if he has an honest interest to discuss the Koranic verses within the context of place and time, we would be happy to that.

    But we know Steve doesn’t want that does he?
    He prefers to leave in fear. Now, that’s what I would call justice.

    People such as Steve are described in the Koran. And he is a lesson for us.

    I have a question for Steve, what is the good news in the gospel?
    Since he is good in Googling, he might find part of the answer in the name of the same verse that he keeps calling the sword: al-Tawbah

  34. Will says:

    “…interest to discuss the Koranic verses within the context of place and time, we would be happy to that.”

    I would be interested in that. Could you start by directing me to an acceptable online translation of the Koran? I have used this site but really have no idea regarding its accuracy. http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/

  35. sunrunner: “Did you really mean to write that a BILLION muslims were dancing in the streets after 9-11? And if you did, can you please cite your sources, because for the life of me, I can’t recall a report of that nature.”

    Aren’t you being disengenuous by taking a literalist interpretation of my remark? Can you possibly be arguing that the news of the Sep 11 attacks were NOT received in the Muslim world, save portions of Iran, with joy? All that celebration in the streets and media accurately represents the Muslim world.

    By contrast, you see no Americans dancing in the streets nor celebrating in the media the current bloodshed in Palestine and Lebanon, nor did you see such celebration after the tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Indonesia nor after the earthquake killed thousands in Muslim Pakistan.

    Steve

  36. Omar: “Now, concerning Steve, if he has an honest interest to discuss the Koranic verses within the context of place and time, we would be happy to that. But we know Steve doesn’t want that does he? He prefers to leave in fear. Now, that’s what I would call justice.”

    Well, that’s your interpretation. It’s wrong. What I am doing is getting inside the head of the nutcase Muslims who butcher Americans and non-Muslims around the world and exposing their rationale. I imagine that you are embarassed by the way the Koran has inspired such evil, which prompts your objections.

    You offer to discuss the Koranic verses within the context of their place and time is a bit of an intellectual dodge. We can all understand why people would come to the savage and extreme morality expressed in the Koran as a natural reaction to the pitiless dog-eat-dog world of 7th century Arabia. What is incomprehensible is the Muslim attempt to argue that the morality of a murderous seventh century desert bandit warlord is an appropriate moral code for the modern world. Beheading your religious enemies such as Zarqawi and Mohammed did are bloody anachronisms in the modern world where toleration, acceptance, and cooperation are the foundation of a superior morality and better life for all.

    Omar: “I have a question for Steve, what is the good news in the gospel? Since he is good in Googling, he might find part of the answer in the name of the same verse that he keeps calling the sword: al-Tawbah”

    Omar, my main interest is tracking back the rationale of Muslim jihadis/terrorists to its source and defeating it. I did not invent the label “Verse of the Sword” for Koran 9:5, as you persistently and dishonestly claim, but Muslim theologians.

    I’m not interested in what the good news is or isn’t in the gospel because the fundamentalist Christians are fairly feeble in their attempts to impose their take on Christianity on the rest of us. Fundamentalist Christians have not declared war on America as the fundamentalist Muslims have nor are the engaged in a campaign of terror against civilization. I don’t give a flying leap what anybody’s religion is until they start killing other people to advance it. Then I care.

    Steve

  37. Omar says:

    Will, I am not ware of a good online Koran.
    I do use the “offline” translation of M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-283193-3). I think it is good but then again I am not an English native speaker. If you cannot find a copy of it let me know and I will snail mail you a copy.

    Now, a word of advice: remember that you’re not reading the Koran but a translation.
    In my experience, my initial problems with certain verses came from reading a translation not the original.

    Contrary to what Steve thinks, I am not an Arab and I am born and raised in the West. So it took me years for me to read the book again and again. But as this body of mine is slowly falling apart, it becomes easier.

    As for Sura 9 of the Koran, Steve has picked the sura of the Koran, and the verses within that sura, which, on their face, represent the farthest distance between Islam and compassion. I for one had the most difficulties with it. It is revealed at a certain crucial point. Notice also that this is the only sura which is not prefaced with “in the name of God, the Benificent, the Merciful.” However, mercy is still mentioned in the sura.

    Let’s look at the context. it was revealed in the middle of a war.
    The previous verse specifies who is being discussed: it is those who have violated the treaties. It does not refer to “idolaters” in general, but to those who were actively engaged in a war against the Muslims. Steve would defend himself or his people in a war, wouldn’t he?

    9:6 And if anyone of the idolaters seek they protection, protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not.

    So it is clear that there is no compulsion. Anyone who seeks the protection of the Muslims is to be protected; it is not necessary that the person accepts Islam.

    Fighting is only allowed against those who fight and remain a present danger. Steve might be surprised to find out that the Koran agrees with him again. After all, as I said, Steve is more Muslim than I am from a certain point of view. I used the word attraction and fascination, but after Steve recent writings, providing us with a view on his mind, I believe that obsession is a better word. It is a thin line to a compulsive disorder.

    May God bless Steve

  38. Omar: “Let’s look at the context. it was revealed in the middle of a war. The previous verse specifies who is being discussed: it is those who have violated the treaties. It does not refer to “idolaters” in general, but to those who were actively engaged in a war against the Muslims. Steve would defend himself or his people in a war, wouldn’t he?”

    As I understand it, of the seventy-some battles Mohammed fought, only one was defensive. Muslim territory under Mohammed expanded by offensive battles, not by hunkering down on the defensive. The Verse of the Sword says to slay the idolaters “wherever you find them,” not when they attack you. The passage assumes the offensive.

    Omar: “9:6 And if anyone of the idolaters seek they protection, protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not.

    So it is clear that there is no compulsion. Anyone who seeks the protection of the Muslims is to be protected; it is not necessary that the person accepts Islam.”

    Huh? Verse 9:5 says slay the idolaters wherever you find them and 9:6 says unless “he hears the word of Allah,” ie converts to Islam. Omar, don’t you think threatening idolators with death unless they convert to Islam constitutes compulsion?

    Omar: “Fighting is only allowed against those who fight and remain a present danger.”

    Omar, back here in the real world Muslims are indeed fighting people around the world for no other reason but Islam. This is not a local phenomenon but global. Where ever Muslims live, they make war on their non-Muslim neighbors, quoting the Koran as they kill.

    The Muslim definition of who fights them or constitutes a present danger is amazingly elastic. America can constitute a danger to Islam if somebody sets up a McDonald’s franchise in Cairo and starts selling infidel Happy Meals, corrupting Islamic morality with its hellish Chicken McNuggets. If America defends a Muslim nation like Saudi Arabia from being overrun by its brother Muslims, that constitutes an offense in wacky bigoted Muslim eyes and, contrary to all reason, constitutes a threat to Islam. Even radio and television has been interpreted as threats to Islam. There is nothing under the sun that can not be interpreted by Muslims to be threats to Islam. The Muslim world is full of such contrived grievances which justifies its campaign of terror against the world. It all boils down to this: Muslims hate anything that is not Muslim.

    Omar: “After all, as I said, Steve is more Muslim than I am from a certain point of view. I used the word attraction and fascination, but after Steve recent writings, providing us with a view on his mind, I believe that obsession is a better word. It is a thin line to a compulsive disorder.”

    When I lived in Texas, I became a student of fire ants after I stepped on my first fire ant mound. There was no possibility of negotiation with them, either. However, when you understood how they thought and organized themselves, you could keep them out of your yard. Once you been bitten by fire ants, as most Texans have, you compulsively keep your eye out for them. You can’t slack off because fire ants never take a day off.

    Steve

  39. Ethan says:

    Ethan didn’t got my point. I used this as an example of showing how dangerous quoting out of context is. Thank you Will for pointing this out.

    I challenge Omar to give me a context for the verse of the sword that places the verse in the correct hisotrical time period.

    Then I want him to square away that context with the Islamic belief that the Koran is an eternal book that is valid for all time.

    Oh, and the “Good News” of the New Testament is John 3:16. In more tractable language, Jesus’s sacrifice means that all one must do is accept him and be saved; you don’t -have- to pray five times a day, or follow arcane food rituals or wear a yarmulke or whatever ‘works’ that you were religiously obligated to do.

    Another way to put it, Christianity believes that God loves humanity and God has shared in that humanity. This stands in sharp contrast to the YHWH or Allah of Judaism and Islam, who have no human qualities and force their believers to do arbitrary things seemingly for their own amusement.

  40. Ethan says:

    On the ‘original language’ debacle – I have always considered this Arab imperialism.

    Why would God write a universal book that could only be written or correctly understood in one langauge (incidentally, a language that only few spoke before Mohammed’s Jihad conquered an enormous swath of the world). Changing or corrupting the Koran is supposed to engender the wrath of Allah, but I never heard of Pickthall (one of the most well-known translators) having been smited, so I would make the logical assumption that his translation is OK in the eyes of Allah.

  41. Forcing the world to bow to Mecca is likewise Arab imperialism.

    Steve

  42. mahmood says:

    Steve said:

    When I lived in Texas, I became a student of fire ants after I stepped on my first fire ant mound. There was no possibility of negotiation with them, either. However, when you understood how they thought and organized themselves, you could keep them out of your yard. Once you been bitten by fire ants, as most Texans have, you compulsively keep your eye out for them. You can’t slack off because fire ants never take a day off.

    Steve, are you comparing us Muslims as insects?

  43. Why attack Mahmood when he’s on our side? The Islamists (notice the ‘ist’) are more of a threat to his health and safety than they are to us.

    Personally I don’t care about Islam as a religion, that’s your private business. But Islamists, those who think Islam is a nifty form of totalitarian government and are willing to kill their neighbours and anybody else to make it so, are the real danger.

    Those Muslims who believe in universal values of liberty and democracy need moral support and physical protection from the Sunni Islamists (Hamas, Taliban, Ansar al Sunna, Al Qaeda, Mujihideen Shura Council, and on and on) and from the Shia Islamists (Iran Govt., Hezbollah, Mahdi Army, Dawa, Badr Brigades, etc.)

    (Hey, that automatic preview pane is really cool.)

  44. Loki says:

    interesting chart.

    Sciontology shouldn’t be on there as it should be classed as business enterprise not a religion. I heard the Bhagavad Gita of hinduism is very similar to the Quran so much so that many Muslim scholars have viewed as a true religious teaching (or having been at one time). Clearly the idea of other Gods being used to intercede to the main God is unislamic to the core but the other aspects relating to the soul and the path to salvation are very similar. I gather it is particularly to close to Sophi interpretation of Islam. Losing the self to be part of the whole, love without posession, that kind of thing.

    Judging by the posts its already caused some people to lose sleep. On that note:

    Mahmood – you know some forums allow poster to rate other comments and you can thus apply a filter to the comments you want to read. Just a thought. 😛 (www.osnews.com is one such site)

  45. Loki

    I am pretty sure Scientology is considered a religion, even though some of its practices may have been ruled a business by the courts. I thought I read something about that a while back but I pretty sure they are considered a “Church” by the all Holy, Mighty and GOD of all MONEY matters…. the I.R.S. ! (at least in the US)

    In practice scientology is considered a “cult” among the vast majority of theologians. They do some really strange stuff.

  46. mahmood says:

    Loki, thanks for the idea and the link to an example site. I don’t know if WordPress has the capability or whether this site might benefit from it, but shall look into it when I have a chance.

    Thanks again.

  47. Aliandra says:

    Ethan;

    I would ask why didn’t God just write his own scriptures and beam a copy into everyone’s home instead of giving them to some poor bloke in the desert? We wouldn’t all be quarreling over which bloke got the correct message 🙂

  48. Mahmood: “Steve, are you comparing us Muslims as insects?”

    Mahmood, I’m happy to inform you that I do not consider you a fire ant, nor an insect. It wasn’t even a close call. And I’m happy to extend that to those Muslims like yourself who are at peace with other countries and religions, want to live and let live, and bear no malice to others based on religious differences.

    However, I reserve the right to denigrate those Muslims who seek to bomb my subway train, who seek death to America and Americans, and who make war on all things non-Muslim. For example, the Muslim member of SIMI whom I quoted earlier who said killing Indian children is a good thing, stopping them from growing up. I recognize nothing human in that statement. If not insect-like, it certainly demonstrates a reptilian morality. Muslims like Mohammed Atta certainly strike me as contemptible insects. Crickets are superior life forms to the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Dung beetles could teach Osama Bin Laden a superior morality and trade. Those are the Muslims who have my compulsive interest and have earned my contempt.

    I certainly can understand why you would be insulted, Mahmood. I’m sure in return you can understand why other religions would be insulted to be called pigs and apes and dogs, insults which are informed by Koranic commentary to apply not only to Jews but to Christians as well. These epithets and others are freely flung at mosques around the world. Have you objected to these as well? If not, would you agree that turnabout is fair play?

    The way the world works is that you get as much respect as you give. You can not command respect with contempt. Muslims would receive more respect if they were not so free with their abuse. And their violence does not inspire admiration either. A good beginning would be to tear those pages about pigs and monkeys out of the religious texts and make them anathema.

    Steve

  49. sunrunner says:

    “Muslims would receive more respect if they were not so free with their abuse.”

    You say that Mahmood and other Muslims “like him” are not fire ants, and then you go and make a generalization like the one above. Lumping “Muslims” into one generic blob.

    Why can’t you bring yourself to say “some” Muslims or “extremist “Muslims?”

    And as to whether Mahmood has “objected” to various epithets flung around my “extremists” — what an incredibly rude thing to say! As I am sure that you, as a regular reader and commenter on this blog, are very well aware of Mahmood’s feelings about such sentiments.

    I am frankly stunned that you would feel so free to be so insulting (esp given that the topic of your comment is verbal abuse) to Mahmood, who has always been very kind and considerate to EVERY commentor on this blog, even those with whom he disagrees.

    You say that one only gets the respect that one gives. Can you please explain to me why it is, then, that Mahmood has continued to be as tolerant and respectful towards you as he has, given the nature of some of the incredibly insulting things you have said about him and others like him?

    There is an old saying: two wrongs don’t make a right. Verbal “abuse” is verbal abuse. Rudeness is rudeness. And if you criticize others, you should be very careful not to commit the same “sin” for which you criticize them, lest you expose your own hypocrisy.

  50. Sunrunner,

    Mahmood is a good guy and I have said so. Unfortunately, he is not representative of the majority of Muslims, who hold a hostile view of non-Muslims. I am pointing out those views and recommending they be changed. Why is that a subject that can not be broached, in your view?

    I think that you are applying my harsh critique of Islam in general to Mahmood specifically in error. While Islam in general is bad, that does not lead to the conclusion that every Muslim is bad. Lots of Muslims have only a fleeting acquaintance with Islamic doctrine or don’t take it seriously.

    When Islam dehumanizes non-Muslims by labelling them as animals, it prepares the mental ground for Muslims to do violence to them. This violence is done in my city, my neighborhood. The Muslims who perpetrate this terror and the religious doctrine which drives them is fair game for the harshest criticism.

    You might have me on my carelessness in using Muslims, some Muslims, and extremist Muslims interchangeably. However, from what I can see most Muslims are heavily indoctrinated in beliefs that seem extreme to me. It’s difficult for me to see how prevalent the bigotry is and how it is distributed across the Muslim population. There is plenty of wild violent talk and action from Muslims around the world and precious little sense. It does not inspire hope.

    Free speech is a rough thing, Sunrunner. It rubs people wrong, upsets them, outrages them. It’s not always polite. If nothing else, my posts convey the deep reservoir of outrage and contempt many, maybe most, Americans feel for the religion that drove jumbo jets into our America. It’s a feeling that’s not going to go away anytime soon.

    Steve

  51. Ethan says:

    I would ask why didn’t God just write his own scriptures and beam a copy into everyone’s home instead of giving them to some poor bloke in the desert? We wouldn’t all be quarreling over which bloke got the correct message

    To this sentiment, I agree fully.

    Any revealed religion not given directly by God to all mankind is false, because every one of those religions has given the voice of God to the words of Man (i.e. Jesus, Paul, Mohammed, Umar, Moses, Zarathustra, Ba’ha’ullah, etc.) Each of those religions is colored by the contemporary culture of its revelation.

    This is why I am agnostic. If there is a God, it is the Deist God. But that God is no different than a fully rational scientific explaination of everything. Therefore there’s no way to know. The existence of God therefore is like Shrodinger’s cat.

    Now all I need to do is go to the Saudi-Afghan supply store and pick myself up some jihadis to fight for my beliefs. Angostic-o-Akbar! If it’ll be a holy war, reason and science should have crazy people too!

  52. mahmood says:

    Steve… rudeness is your hallmark, once again you cannot bring yourself to stay away from generalisations. And no, here it is in black and white, *I* – like most Muslims – do not regard non-Muslims as animals, had we done that, we would not be brushing our teeth every morning, drive our cars, drink our coffee, take medicine, asphalt roads, use computers, utilise telephones and the internet, and a myriad of other things which the West (in a major part) has produced.

    I suspect that the Qur’an was figurative in that description, rather than literal. In Arabic, a dunce is called a “donkey”, rude and crude, yes, but it is something that is done, just as you would call someone who upset you in your culture an ass.

    What you’re doing by describing us, the whole 1.x billion of us, insects, is beyond rude and crude, it is despicable and uncalled for.

    I also take offence of you labelling me as abnormal to my creed. You might see me as different, I see myself as just another Muslim, like hundreds of millions like me. In my 44 years so far, I have not met one person who I would classify as a terrorist. Not a single one, considering that I do travel to Saudi and all over the Arab world regularly and have done for the past 20 years.

    Steve, whether you like it or not, I do represent the majority of Muslims. The vast majority of us do want peace, do want to pursue happiness, and do want to live our lives to the full.

    Steve, you’re a good guy, and I know judging by my interaction of Westerners throughout my life, I know that you do not represent them. You’ve got far too much contempt and hate for your fellow human beings to even come close to the vast majority of Westerners.

  53. Loki says:

    CerebralWaste,

    The irony is that if you ask any sciontologist whether it is a religion they will say “no, its just a philosophy that is compatable with other religions”. So I say “Can I be a muslim and scientologist?” the answer from them is “Ofcourse you can!” . Total untrue ofcourse once you understand thier beliefs.

    I always find it funny the ones promoting it in the streets will always tell you its not a religion whilst they apply to be tax exempt in that country and be classified as religion. Germany, incidently has ruled that they are NOT a religion and must be tax on all thier income like all businesses. Although considering I have been classed by them as an SP (suppressive person) maybe you shouldnt take my word for it |:P.

  54. Amjid says:

    Steve: “Mahmood is a good guy and I have said so. Unfortunately, he is not representative of the majority of Muslims, who hold a hostile view of non-Muslims”

    Jeesh Steve …. that must be one big survey you’ve done (with a liberal dose of generalisation added for good measure)

    Muslims don’t hold a dim view of non-Muslims, on the contrary they quite like them. They just have an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem with the ones that Illegally occupy their countries, bomb civilians, use white phosphorous against civilian populations, pollute their countries with depleted uranium, abuse their co-religionists in prisons and lock people up with any recourse to legal proceedings that’s all.
    hmm… I wonder why some Muslims hold a dim view of such people … don’t you ??

  55. Loki says:

    Amjid – well said. btw, I was told by someone who has conducted many tests in this field that many Bahraini’s actually have traces of uranium in their hair from weapons used by the alied forces (read americans) during the first Gulf War. Messed up.

  56. Loki

    Please site your source for this Uranium issue. I find it interesting to say the least. I wonder should we all run out and get our hair tested? Perhaps that is why I glow in the dark?

  57. Ethan says:

    They just have an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem with the ones that Illegally occupy their countries, bomb civilians, use white phosphorous against civilian populations, pollute their countries with depleted uranium, abuse their co-religionists in prisons and lock people up with any recourse to legal proceedings that’s all.

    I’m going to ignore every easily debunked lie in this post.

    I will however ask this; Iraq does not explain 9/11.

    Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war against the west does. That declaration of war says that it is every Muslim’s duty to fight against the infidels until all religion is for Allah. It also sayds that the west is immoral, and that that lifestyle is offensive to Islam.

    Since that point, a lot of ‘horrible things’ have ‘hurt’ the ‘honor’ of ‘the ummah’. But the original pre-9/11 justification is not Iraq, or white phosphorous or whatevber. It’s because Islam does not rule the world. That’s why. Try actually reading Osama sometime.

  58. Loki says:

    Ethan seems to think the average Muslim gives a flying f**K was to what Osama says.

  59. Loki says:

    as to*

  60. Loki says:

    CerebralWaste – A relative of mine is a Neurtrationist. As part the tests she conducts she takes blood samples and hair samples and has them analysed in labs as part of her assesment of the clients state. Uranium show’s up frequently in the hair samples. Ofcourse its trace amounts only but its there none the less. It’s possible that all Bahraini’s who were around during the first Gulf War will have it.

    As for why you glow in the dark, hmmm, not sure, do you live near Alba? Do you drink water from the tap?. |:P

  61. Loki: “Amjid – well said. btw, I was told by someone who has conducted many tests in this field that many Bahraini’s actually have traces of uranium in their hair from weapons used by the alied forces (read americans) during the first Gulf War. Messed up.”

    Loki, this just demonstrates that lies run while truth walks.

    Depleted uranium, such as that used in some US munitions to penetrate armor is as radioactive as dirt, literally. Dirt, depleted uranium, the same radioactivity. If you fear that dirt is poisoning you with radiation, then you have cause to fear depleted uranium. If you don’t think dirt is all that radioactive, as knowledgeable people know, then you have little to fear from depleted uranium.

    Saddam’s propagandists, along with anti-Americans everywhere, have spread the lie that the US was using uranium in its shells to poison people with radiation, hoping to capitalize on the scientific illiteracy of Iraqis with a sixth grade education and the ignorance of leftists in general. Depleted uranium is not uranium, but rather uranium that has been used up, its radioactive isotopes removed. Depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium ore, the form from which uranium is refined.

    US military doctors have run studies on depleted uranium’s effects on human health and have not found much. Apparently, if DU is burning and you breathe it in, that can be bad, but for chemical reasons, not radiation. The same could be said for burning plastics. There are US military who have been wounded with DU shrapnel which was not removed and which they have carried for years. In other words, they are carrying it in their body where it is introduced into the bloodstream. No ill effect has been found, other than that caused by having metal pierce their bodies.

    Depleted uranium is used in civilian life, as ballast in sailboats, trim weights in airliners, oil drilling equipment, gyroscope rotors, and to make false teeth. My guess is that Bahrainis have traces of depleted uranium on them, their dentists are more likely the source than American tank rounds.

    Loki, my recommendation to you is to use a little skepticism when you hear rumors rather than just blindly accepting anything that slanders America, no matter how much fun that is.

    Steve

  62. Loki: “Ethan seems to think the average Muslim gives a flying f**K was to what Osama says.”

    Ninety percent of Saudis had a favorable opinion of Bin Laden after the Sep 11 attacks, according to a Saudi poll. Osama posters and T-shirts are sold throughout the Muslim world. Every Osama & Zawahiri video is introduced by Al Jazeera to an eager Muslim audience. And there seems to be plenty of Muslims willing to defend Bin Laden, to even claim he had nothing to do with Sep 11.

    He’s a hero to millions of Muslims, a hero jihadi fighting the Great Satan.

    Steve

  63. Loki says:

    I AM a saudi and I can tell you Ninety percent of Saudi’s don’t care about Bin Laden one way or the other. I have never seen Osama bin Laden T-shirt apart from a CNN report about Pakistan. If you think people in Saudi buy and wear Bin Laden merchandising you are sadly mistaken.

  64. Loki says:

    WTF are you talking about you? I didn’t use the word radioactive or poisioning anywhere. Suggest you read more carefully next time.

  65. Steve The American says:

    Loki,

    Osama Bin Laden was certainly a big hero to Saudis when he was attacking the United States as part of the Saudi terror war on America. He was not so popular when his gang started killing Saudis. In Wahhabi terms, killing in the Dar al Harb was good but bad in the Dar al-Islam.

    To be blunt, Saudis have little credibility with me or most Americans due to their support of the Sep 11 atrocities. Saudi Arabia denied that Saudis played any part in the Sep 11 attacks on America immediately after the event, went on to say that America singled out the Saudi skyjackers falsely due to racism, and held to that position for six months until the evidence was too overwhelming even for the Saudis. Now they only lie in private or to Saudi audiences, telling them that the Jews did it.

    While the Saudis pose falsely as allies, they spread hate literature in mosques across America fomenting war against the West. The Saudi Embassy here in Washington, almost within site of the Pentagon they sought to destroy, hands out brochures in Arabic to Muslim tourists reminding them that America is evil, democracy is blashemous, and no Muslim should affiliate himself with either. That is Bin Laden’s program. This is being done surreptitiously while at the same time Saudi Arabia hires ad agencies to broadcast commercials in DC that you are our ally in the war against terror. You Saudis have lied too much to ever be trusted.

    Simply put, you are the enemy of America. Nothing you say can be believed.

    Steve

  66. Loki says:

    wow, I didn’t know we Saudi’s were that scary. Believe whatever floats your boat. I’ll get on with plotting the impending downfall the american infidell civilisation shall I?

  67. Steve The American says:

    You might as well join in with the rest of the Saudis. I wouldn’t want you to feel left out of the jihad. Your brethren just slaughtered another bunch of infidels on a train in Bombay. There’s probably a banquet at the local mosque celebrating that you could join.

    Steve

  68. Loki says:

    erm, no, there isn’t.

  69. mahmood says:

    Steve, quick advice, you might want to try to bring people closer to you, especially if they are reform minded, by not attacking them! Believe me it works most times.

  70. Amjid says:

    Steve, as I sit here under a palm tree, while my camels are grazing … I’m thinking… Wow! you really have got the blinkers on when it comes to world affairs. You really think the world is that black and white huh ?? What about the rest of the colours in the spectrum ?

    You can be so vociferous in your hate that you often make overt and offensive nazi-istic generalisations which are totally (and deliberately?) inaccurate. These diatribes elucidate much more about you and your insecurities than they do about Muslims.

  71. sunrunner says:

    Steve, have you actually met and spoken to an actual Saudi?

    I have. I have been there. In fact, when I was there in the 90s, I never heard one word in support of Osama bin Laden — who was well known in Saudi, while most Americans had not yet heard of him. In fact, what I heard from all of the Saudis I spoke to about him was that he was an insane extremist. They were embarressed by him, just as most Americans are embarressed by Timothy McVeigh.

    Also, you continue to make the argument that Christians have never been guilty of the atrocities of the Islamic extremists. Ironically, you overlook one key componant of European history — and that is the history of Jews in Europe. And no, I am not speaking just of the holocaust, I am speaking of Spain (and the Spanish Inquisition), I am speaking of the progoms in eastern Europe and Russia . . . and that is only for “starters.”

    Also, I could draw your attention to the history of African slavery — by Europeans and Americans in the New World, which was “justified” (they said) by Christian doctrine. I can also mention the “Trail of Tears” which took place in spite of a Supreme Court ruling, and the Ku Klux Klan. “Christians” all….

  72. Ethan says:

    Ethan seems to think the average Muslim gives a flying f**K was to what Osama says.

    Loki, I’m not Steve. Turn down the kneejerk vitriol.

    What -pisses- me off is when people don’t take the time to actually read the terrorist literature and understand what it is they are saying. The lot of folks who don’t take the time to do this end up writing a bunch of crap as to ‘root causes’, most of which is wishful thinking and naive.

    And don’t get me started on the people that simply discount the terrorists own rhetoric because it doesn’t suit their own view of what the terrorists SHOULD be. That arrogant condesendsion: “You silly terrorists, don’t you know that you’re not really fighting for Allah, but for x, y and z?” Is infuriating in its obvious falsity.

    I don’t care if 99% of Muslims think that Osama’s proclaimations are insipid. It’s the 1% that have the guns, bombs, will and suicidal complex to act on those writings. If nothing else, should we READ those writings to understand what inspired them to kill the lot of us?

  73. Loki says:

    Loki, I’m not Steve. Turn down the kneejerk vitriol.

    Hey, its a free blog. Which is why you are allowed to type whatever you want no matter how twisted it is. As for the rest of your comment, well, there’s not much point is there. I’ll tell you its down to Geo-Political issues and that religion is a vehicle, you can tell me its inherent in the ideology.

    Would it help to tell you that the “verse of the sword” as you called it was an answer to a specific question the Muslims asked the Prophet? would it make a difference for you to know that before the conquest of Mekkah the Muslims asked the prophet if they were allowed to fight within Mecca as it was (and still is) considered Hallowed ground? The answer was fight them where you find them. (i.e. whether inside or outside the walls of Mecca). As it happened, there was no bloodshed.

    No, no, no, that’s neither here nor there, neither is the fact that many Muslim countries were never invaded by muslim armies, nor does it matter that spain was under muslim rule for 700 years without anyone being forced to convert, nor does the fact that pre-Islamic religions have existed in the muslim world after the spread of Islam(unlike europe where all pre-chrisitian religions were annihilated. With one notable exception and I think its fair to say they have had a far easier time under muslims than christians.).

    you can look at the 1% and search for their logic in the Quran and Hadith. I just have to switch on the news.

  74. Anonymous says:

    “Spain was under muslim rule for 700 years without anyone being forced to convert, nor does the fact that pre-Islamic religions have existed in the muslim world after the spread of Islam”

    Um, the Almoravids and Almohads persecuted the Christians and Jews in Spain. And the pagans of Saudi Arabia were given the choice of Islam or death. But the Ottomons were very tolerant

  75. Ethan says:

    Would it help to tell you that the “verse of the sword” as you called it was an answer to a specific question the Muslims asked the Prophet?

    It in fact would help. But I already know this – most verses in the Koran are tailor made for certain circumstances. But that in and of itself gives the text some historicity. If the text has historicity then the whole house comes down – the Koran is basically a man-made collection of oral history.

    Only the Koran says that Mohammed is a Prophet.
    Mohammed narrated the verses that were compiled into the Koran.

    It stands to reason that Mohammed could have lied. Luckily, he killed everyone who questioned him.

  76. Amjid: “Steve, as I sit here under a palm tree, while my camels are grazing … I’m thinking… Wow! you really have got the blinkers on when it comes to world affairs. You really think the world is that black and white huh ?? What about the rest of the colours in the spectrum ?

    That’s quite a portrait you’ve drawn there, Amjid. Sometimes when I pull on my jackboots to goosestep behind Chimpy McHitler in the Israeli Lobby Day March, I wonder why people think of Americans in stereotypes.

    While most of the world is dressed in shades of the rainbow, Saudi Arabia is pretty much black and white. The Saudis make Wahhabism their state doctrine which makes America their enemy. They have trained a generation of Saudis to hate America and the rest of the infidels, preach war against America, fund and supply that war, recruit the terrorists for that war, and provide cover for those actions. The only mitigating factor in this Saudi war is the desire to keep the infidels pumping the petrodollars into their pockets.

    Amjid: “You can be so vociferous in your hate that you often make overt and offensive nazi-istic generalisations which are totally (and deliberately?) inaccurate. These diatribes elucidate much more about you and your insecurities than they do about Muslims.”

    Amjid, the Saudis think the Nazis are heroes for the Holocaust. When Israel prosecuted Adolph Eichmann, the project manager for the Holocaust, Saudi papers lauded him as the man who “had the honor of killing six million Jews.” Some of the Saudi anti-semitic propaganda is literally recycled from the Nazis. Calling the Saudis Nazi-istic is accurate and warranted when they so warmly embrace Nazi ideals.

    The Saudis are engaged in a covert war against America, a war which finds favor among Muslims. That’s the bottom line. When the Saudis and Muslims in general stop destroying in America and start building, you will see my criticism cease.

    Steve

  77. Sunrunner: “Steve, have you actually met and spoken to an actual Saudi?”

    Yes, I met a couple Saudi junior officers at nav school in the Air Force in California. They demanded that the graduation ceremony be changed to suit them as Muslims. That introduced me to the primary characteristic of Saudis: arrogance. They want you to do things their way in Saudi Arabia and when they come to America, they want you to do things their way. There were only two of them and a hundred US officers, but they wanted us all to kowtow to them.

    A couple years ago when Prince Abdullah flew down to Bush’s ranch in Texas, the Saudis demanded that no female air traffic controllers handle his aircraft. It was ignored, but a typical example of Saudi arrogance and backwardness. They don’t have female ATC in Saudi Arabia and they don’t want America to have female ATC when they visit America.

    A nurse in the cancer ward in a well-regarded Houston hospital told me the same thing about the rich Saudi patients there who balked at dealing with a female nurse. They wanted men to treat them. In other words, they want the best care that America has to offer, but they want it delivered like they’re back in a Bedouin tent.

    Sunrunner: “I have. I have been there. In fact, when I was there in the 90s, I never heard one word in support of Osama bin Laden — who was well known in Saudi, while most Americans had not yet heard of him. In fact, what I heard from all of the Saudis I spoke to about him was that he was an insane extremist. They were embarressed by him, just as most Americans are embarressed by Timothy McVeigh.”

    Sunrunner, how do you explain that a month after the Sep 11 attacks “a Saudi intelligence survey in mid-October of educated Saudis between the ages of 25 and 41 concluded that 95 percent of them supported Mr. (Osama) bin Laden’s cause.” In 2003, two years after the attack, almost half of 15,000 Saudis polled supported Bin Laden. That’s two years after the Sep 11, 2001 attacks when Bin Laden’s guilt was firmly established.

    Sunrunner, do you think that the only Saudis you met were in that 5% who didn’t support Bin Laden? Let me offer another explanation: They’re lying.

    John R. Bradley in his book, “Saudi Arabia Exposed,” describes watching Princess Reem Mohammed Al-Faisal, a granddaughter of King Faisal, one of these liberal Saudi reformers of whom the posters in this forum put great stock, and her fellow reformers refuse to admit to a New York Times journalist that fifteen of the Sep 11 skyjackers were Saudis. A few hours later she admitted they were Saudi in passing to Bradley. (p. 25) Bradley says that in response to Sep 11 the Saudi liberals closed ranks and entertained “a great deal of self-denial” to defend the reputation of Saudi Arabia against accusations they knew to be true.

    Lying to save face is part of Saudi culture, a part of their culture you don’t seem to have picked up on.

    Sunrunner: “Also, you continue to make the argument that Christians have never been guilty of the atrocities of the Islamic extremists. Ironically, you overlook one key componant of European history — and that is the history of Jews in Europe. And no, I am not speaking just of the holocaust, I am speaking of Spain (and the Spanish Inquisition), I am speaking of the progoms in eastern Europe and Russia . . . and that is only for “starters.” .”

    I’ve never made any such argument, which is a fable invented by you. I recommend that you stick to statements I actually make instead of constructing straw man arguments for you to knock down.

    Sunrunner: “Also, I could draw your attention to the history of African slavery — by Europeans and Americans in the New World, which was “justified” (they said) by Christian doctrine. I can also mention the “Trail of Tears” which took place in spite of a Supreme Court ruling, and the Ku Klux Klan. “Christians” all…. .”

    Like a typical self-loathing liberal, you think Europe invented African slavery. Sunrunner, African slavery was invented by Africans, who profited from selling their fellow Africans into slavery. There was a brisk trade selling slaves to the Arabs. In fact, the colloquial Arabic term for Africans is “slave.” The African slave trade had been established for centuries before opportunistic Europeans decided to expand the slave market into Europe and the American colonies. Africa is the only place where chattel slavery continues to exist.

    I might point out that Europe abolished slavery on its own initiative and America fought a civil war over the issue of slavery. The Arab world and Africa continued to sell and own slaves. Saudi Arabia did not abolish slavery until 1962 under pressure from America. Yet, even now, Philippino maids and other foreign workers continue to be slaves in all but name in Saudi Arabia. About once per year, there is a newspaper story in America of Saudis holding maids as slaves in America and trying to avoid prosecution by claiming diplomatic immunity.

    The difference between Saudi Arabia and America is that American democracy self-corrects and keeps improving it, while Saudi Arabia is reactive, resisting improvement, and subject to a huge undertow that pulls it back into its dark and violent past.

  78. Will says:

    Fundamentalism; 2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

    Steve would be the ambulance driver running over pedestrians on his way to the accident.

    I realize that the Wahhabists have a great deal of power in Saudia Arabia but how much popular support do they have?

  79. Loki says:

    “” the project manager for the Holocaust, Saudi papers lauded him as the man who “had the honor of killing six million Jews.” “”

    source please Steve.

  80. Loki says:

    “It stands to reason that Mohammed could have lied. Luckily, he killed everyone who questioned him.”

    That the Quran is from God not the Prophet is ultimately a matter of faith. That he killed anyone who questioned him is more of your nonsense.

  81. mahmood says:

    that was short!

  82. Loki says:

    you call that a source???!

  83. Amjid says:

    Steve “Saudi Arabia is pretty much black and white” …..like I said “blinkers on” thank you for proving that 🙂

    Saudi papers lauded him as the man who “had the honor of killing six million Jews.” I don’t know Steve but ‘Papers’ suggests to me more than one paper…all you seem to have come up with is link to some guys ambiguous reference to a ‘leading newspaper’ … lol … you call that a reference !?

    “the Saudis think the Nazis are heroes for the Holocaust” …which saudis ? all Saudis? some Saudis? most Saudis? tall Saudis? short Saudis??…when you say Saudis who do you mean ??

    Do you mean in the same sense as all Americans think that black people should be lynched on a sundays ? http://www.maafa.org/lynch3.html …put on your sunday best, and take you wife and kids along for a good ‘ole lynching … yee-haw…. http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/african/2000/lynching.htm or is that too “black and white” for you ?

    Africans may have invented slavery but you brought about the worst aspects of it in the forming of lynching parties…. oh well any excuse for a party eh !?

  84. Ethan says:

    That the Quran is from God not the Prophet is ultimately a matter of faith. That he killed anyone who questioned him is more of your nonsense.

    I’m flabbergasted.

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/059.sbt.html

    Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369:

    Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). ” The Prophet said, “You may say it.”
    […]
    When Muhammad (bin Malasma) got a strong hold of him, he said (to his companions), “Get at him!” So they killed him and went to the Prophet and informed him. (Abu Rafi) was killed after Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf.”

    Not only did Mohammed order the death of someone who “hurt” Allah and his Apostle, he also ordered his follower to lie and decieve the victim. According to other histories, the “hurt” was no more than poems that and stories that made fun of Mohammed.

    Kinda puts those “BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM” placards into their historical context, eh?

    If Mohammed was actually a Prophet, his message would stand up to criticism. However, Mohammed killed his critics.

    Not much different than what we see today in the Middle East, and not the acts of a true prophet.

  85. Loki says:

    I see, and this is your reason for believing the Prophet killed anyone who disagreed with him?

    Kab didn’t get killed because he didn’t believe in the prophet, he got killed because he incited people to murder muslims. Also, other hadiths relate the Prophet did not know of Kab getting killed till after it happened.

    If you are reading Islamic literature perhaps you might want to expand you’re reading beyond danielpipes.org and jihadwatch.org. You may want to try specifically:

    Islam at the Cross Roads: Mohamed Assad
    Islam and the Destiny of Man: Gai Eaton
    Muhammad: His Life based on the earliest sources : Martin Lings

    Comparative religion, try Karen Armstrong as she shares your religious standing (if not your views).

  86. Ethan says:

    Loki:

    Your name is quite telling: “God of mischief”. I implore you to reveal these hadiths; I have quoted mine. Any line of argument should always be supported with evidence. Even so, read the next three Hadiths from the link I presented. Mohammed is going about ordering more assassinations.

    Kab was a Jewish (surprised?) poet who spoke against Islam. He did not order the deaths of Muslims.

    I find Karen Armstrong to be puerile. For someone who claims to no longer be religious, she comes off as an apologist rather than someone who understands the material.

  87. Joe says:

    Amjid,

    Did you go to a U.S. university or something? Your moral equivalencey of the KKK and the KSA is something you’d expect to hear in a mid-east studies class.

    You do know that the KKK was not part of the state. It was always private and in fact the first KKK was crushed by the US Government. The second version was a club, and while popular was never part of the state. In addition to wanting to return blacks to slavery, they hated Catholics and Jews too. They’d feel right at home in most muslim countries. The only problem is they weren’t muslim…still they’re methods and tactic fit right in, so they’d probably be easy converts.

    The criminal acts of some of the members were prosecuted by the state when they occured and over time the group became a fringe of the fringe.

    Notice also the KKK was active more than 80 years ago. Unfortunately we can’t say the same for many islamists…

  88. Amjid says:

    Thank you for pointing that out Joe, I agree with you the moral equivalence is somewhat rather skewed. As the KKK is not representative of the american people, in a similar manner views such as “Saudis believe that nazis are ‘heros’ for the holocaust” are not representative of Saudis et al. This equivelance was drawn to undermine such generalisations that are clearly fallacious.

    The KKK is still strong on some areas, one of the more recent actions that was attributed to them was the horrific murder – by way of (yes, you’ve guessed it!) lynching – of Michael Donald in 1981 hmm.. thats not 80 yrs ago ? sounds fairly recent to me !

    http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp?T=26&m=4
    “While some factions have preserved an openly racist and militant approach, others have tried to enter the mainstream, cloaking their racism as mere “civil rights for whites.” Today, the Center estimates that there are a total of 5,500 to 6,000 Klan members” they are alive and kicking. Lynching might have left a bad taste in their mouths but they have made their more subvertive efforts to pursue the same goals as

    “fringe of the fringe” …lol.. I like the way you distance people whose actions don’t fit with your morals as “fringe of the fringe” . I’ll use that next time some moron tries telling me (and miserably fails) that Mozlems or Ay-rabs are the same as terrorists.

  89. Joe says:

    Amjid,

    You should state the truth that most muslims and arabs are not terrorists. I don’t think you could make the case that they aren’t racists, but the facts speak for themselves that most muslims aren’t terrorists.

    Regarding KKK as not being fringe. How else would you characterized an ideology held by .00002 percent of the populations? The U.S. Has near 300 million souls; given the high side of your stat, that makes them .00002 percent.

    Care to run the same analysis for islamist views in the muslim country of your choice in which a jew or christian has been lynched?

  90. Joe says:

    In addition, KKKs that commit crimes are pursued by our criminal justice system. They aren’t adored or supported, or cheered by mainstream Americans.

  91. Aliandra says:

    Amjid;

    The KKK gets no public support. None. No one goes around wearing KKK T-shirts. No religious leader sanctions their beliefs. Nobody dances in the street after the KKK attacks someone (which happens to be isolated incidents these days). They are an embarrassment who lost their appeal decades ago.

    And Amjid, if you don’t live in the US, you might want to consider that your knowledge might be somewhat compromised.

  92. Loki says:

    Kab and Abu Rafi were assisinated for the same reasons. These aren’t people who “criticised” the Prophet. These were people who conspired to have him and muslims killed. They sided with Meccans during a time of war. So let’s not pretend these were upstanding members of the community merely offering some constructive criticism.

    The God of Mischief thing is an over simplification for which we can thank “The Mask”.

  93. Ethan says:

    These aren’t people who “criticised” the Prophet. These were people who conspired to have him and muslims killed. They sided with Meccans during a time of war. So let’s not pretend these were upstanding members of the community merely offering some constructive criticism.

    Source? Every single Islamic source I have seen has marked them as poets who criticized the Prophet and his new religion.

    If you don’t like those two examples, what about the others? I can keep going on and on about those whom Mohammed had killed.

    Lots of people wanted to kill Jesus. He forgave them.

    The God of Mischief thing […]

    You’re not being honest. Again.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki

  94. domesticated says:

    Aliandra: “And Amjid, if you don’t live in the US, you might want to consider that your knowledge might be somewhat compromised.”

    Yes! And maybe all of you people who have never lived in the Middle East or the Arab World might want to hold back on all the punditry about Arabs and Muslims.

  95. Loki says:

    Source? Every single Islamic source I have seen has marked them as poets who criticized the Prophet and his new religion.

    why doesn’t that surprise me. Like I said, try expanding your reading material.

    I can keep going on and on about those whom Mohammed had killed. – if it makes you feel better

    Lots of people wanted to kill Jesus. He forgave them. – How do you know, did you ask him?

    I’m not sure what the wikipedia (aka the junk food of research) link was for but thanks anyway.

  96. M says:

    Aliandra: “And Amjid, if you don’t live in the US, you might want to consider that your knowledge might be somewhat compromised.”

    Yes! And maybe all of you people who have never lived in the Middle East or the Arab World might want to hold back on all the punditry about Arabs and Muslims.

    Aliandra,

    I went all though your post to Amjid and couldn’t find the words Middle East, Arab World, Arabs or Muslims anywhere; you truly are the great communicator. Anything else you don’t want to say?

  97. Ethan says:

    why doesn’t that surprise me. Like I said, try expanding your reading material.

    So, rather than going to historical Islamic sources, you’d rather read apologist propaganda. Mohammed killed his critics. It’s basically as simple as that.

    Concerning ‘Jesus forgave those who wished him ill’: Maybe it is you who should expand your reading material.

    Somehow that you don’t doesn’t shock me like it should.

    I’m not sure what the wikipedia (aka the junk food of research) link was for but thanks anyway.

    Not that you have shown anything research-wise in your responses to me. I showed you were wrong, and I can back up the Loki-as-Nordic-God-of-Mischief argument until you keel over from exasperation.

  98. mahmood says:

    Ok, shall I get the ruler out and get you both to drop your trousers? Just say when!

  99. Ethan says:

    I’m not sure anyone’s ready for that, Mahmood 😛

  100. Loki says:

    sources: I did suggest a seerah for you to read. The Martin Lings books (and when I say read I mean read, rather than read the reviews). Apart from that I am on holiday now and Imam Google doesn’t always cut it.

    Actually I’ve ready plenty about Christ. Your comment is based on the representation of Christ in the Gospels. And these are what? historic documents?

    As for Loki, if you read my post I said the God of Mischief is an over simplification. Loki was the God of Fire. Loki was far more than merely the God of mischief. He was brother of Odin, friend to man, and the provider for the Gods. It was he that gave Thor his Hammer and it was he that Odin and Thor relied on in their travels. The image of Loki as a joker type figure as in the wikipedia link is misrepresentation as he was both very heroic and at times very evil. His deeds good and bad detirmined the destiny of the nors Gods, probably more so than any of the other Gods save Odin. – This was my handle on compuserve yDrive chat 10 years ago and I happened to decide to use it again. I think if I was intent on decieving people I would probably choose a more subtle name.

    Mahmood – drop my trousers??? You mean I’m not supopsed to be naked?

  101. mahmood says:

    Ewwww, purleeze! 😆

  102. Ethan says:

    Your comment is based on the representation of Christ in the Gospels. And these are what? historic documents?

    As opposed to any other contemporary documents that chronicle the life of Jesus?

    Oh wait. There just aren’t any. Even Josephus didn’t do a biography. If you want to know anything about Jesus, the Gospels are the best reference.

    I hate to harp on the Loki angle, but for all of the complexity that you give to Loki’s character (none of which is invalid) he is still a mischevious God. 😛

  103. Loki says:

    as opposed to all the Gospels that were not canonized. As opposed the version of Christ that James followed (arguably the truest teachings of Christ though we’ll never know thanks to the Romans). As for other documents. The Gospel according to Thomas (which is older than the Synoptic Gospels let alone the Gospel according to John), Philip, Mary, and Judas. The only reason for considering the four canonized versions of the Gospel to be authentic is because the council of Nicea said so …. and I’m sure they didn’t have an agenda.

    Re Loki, When I think of mischevious I think of little children. But hey, who am I to argue with Hollywood influenced mythology.

  104. Ethan says:

    I’m sure that the council of Nicea has about the same agenda as Uthman did when he decided which version of the Koran was the ‘correct’ one. It’s all about taking disparate sources and politically determining which are the most convenient to keep and which are best forgotten. Now if you’d like to argue the gnostics, I’ll be more than happy to oblidge.

    Re Loki, When I think of mischevious I think of little children. But hey, who am I to argue with Hollywood influenced mythology.

    Why are you arguing with Hollywood? What are they saying about Loki? I’m only telling you what the Western History Professor whose is office is down the hall from me says.

  105. Loki says:

    You are comparing Uthman’s initiative with the council of Nicea ….?

    “Oh wait, you’re serious, let me laugh even harder”

    – Bender, Futurama

  106. Ethan says:

    In the greater picture the two were exactly the same: Codification of the holy text.

    Except that Uthman did it unilaterally, choosing the version that he liked best.

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